Select Page

Marie Bonaparte: Freud’s Princess and Ambassador

In this contribution, Hanna Stouten, author of the first Dutch Bonaparte biography, sketches the problematic life of Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962). Freud played a key role in Bonaparte’s life, first as his patient and later as a psychoanalyst herself. He was a father-figure for her, bestowing self-confidence and also a profession, his profession. The activities which Marie developed in psychoanalysis start with her own analysis. The first 43 years display an overarching need for someone like Freud. The time with him was a rich period of expansion for her and was followed by post-Freudian years. In French and international psychoanalysis the princess acquired a reputation as one of the great Freud translators, as a networker and benefactor, and as rescuer of the Fliess letters. Her conflict with Jacques Lacan left a scar.

Psychoanalysis in the Netherlands during World War II

To understand what happened in the psychoanalytic world in Holland during the German occupation (1940-1945) we must have knowledge of the conflicts within the Dutch Society of Psychoanalysis in the nineteen-thirties. Those conflicts mainly deal with the subject of lay analysis, the compulsory training analysis and in general if compliance with foreign, with IPA rules was advisable. These differences of opinion reached their peak when four Jewish psychoanalysts arrived from Germany in 1933. The Dutch Society broke up in two parts, but was reunited in 1938. During the German occupation the training was finally regulated according to the IPA rules. This lead to a new splitting in the world of Dutch psychoanalysis that has not been healed to date.